Running Unprepared

By: Dr. David Walker

2 Sam 18:22 Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready?

When Joab killed Absalom the battle was over. Now, he had to send word back to an anxious King David who was waiting and watching for some news – hopefully some good news. But, we know it was not good news David received. Yes, they won the battle, but he had lost a son. He was still reaping from his seeds of sin. 

Tucked away in this passage is a story of two messengers: Ahimaaz and Cushi. Both messengers ran and reached King David, but only one was prepared to deliver a message!

Although Ahimaaz was a “good man” (2 Samuel 18:27), he was still unprepared and didn’t have a message ready. You will notice when King David probed for an answer Ahimaaz, who knew Absalom was dead, cleverly said, “I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was” (2 Samuel 18:29). He was not sent with a prepared message so he couldn’t say what he knew, and if he did it wouldn’t have been legitimate. 

Also, notice that although Ahimaaz “overran Cushi” because he was faster or maybe took a short-cut, he was not the one who delivered the message. He was told to stand still and wait – all because he had “no tidings ready.” 

I hope you are getting the analogy here. We are called to “preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things” (Romans 10:15). And we can’t do that if we are unprepared. You might be smart, talented, a naturally good speaker, or even know a few short cuts; but when it’s time to deliver the message, the King might just say to you, “Turn aside, and stand here” (vs. 30). 

There are many men who have never fulfilled their calling because they were never prepared. If you can’t prepare and discipline your life and schedule to complete your classes you will never make it in the ministry. I’m not trying to be mean; I’m just telling you the truth. 

Preparation is absolutely essential. You can’t “wing it” and preach on “overflow” every time. If you are not preparing your heart now and feeding yourself now, you will never be able to feed sheep later.  

Your calling is that of a messenger. You are to deliver the message faithfully as you get it from God. And the message doesn’t come easily or without preparation. The battle is raging, and we don’t need another preacher who “takes a verse and takes a fit.” The fight is on, and we don’t need another “speaker” who goes on and on because he can’t keep his mouth shut! We need preachers who are messengers for God, bringing prepared tidings from God! 

Are you preparing or are you loafing? Are you taking your preparation seriously? I know it’s not easy, but it’s not supposed to be! Studying is work! Running is work! Delivering is work!

Are you running unprepared? If you can’t prepare and study now, you will never be ready on Sundays and Wednesdays!

There are two messengers in the passage – one who was prepared and one who wasn’t. Ahimaaz was a good man, but that didn’t help him when it came time to deliver. Are you going to be ready when it’s time for the Lord to send out a messenger? I hope and pray you will.